As taxi hailing services driver-partners were picketing on Wednesday, a Kenyan app-based taxi bookings and a taxi-sharing facility, ShareCab was launched, upping more competition in the market.
ShareCab is primed to reduce costs for riders and increase their revenues.
According to the company behind it, Virscom, ShareCab charges drivers zero per cent commission – meaning drivers earn more, but riders don’t pay more. It allows for cab sharing facility that saves riders up to 50 per cent of fares, in an array of new money saving and security features.
“ShareCab is a state-of-the-art app, offering every facility in Kenya for app-based taxis, plus new models on ride sharing, zero commission so that drivers earn far more per ride, and a green motivation in reducing rides through sharing,” said Virscom Founder and CEO, Mwakio Ngale.
The launch comes at a time when taxi drivers have expressed increasing discontent by the large commissions taken out of their fares by other taxi Apps. Uber takes 25 per cent while Little 15 per cent. They all, including Taxify were involved in the strike from Monday to Wednesday this week.
According to Mwakio, for a taxi App to serve riders with prompt pick-ups and motivated drivers, drivers themselves need to be properly rewarded, and riders need to enjoy competitive fares.
Instead of taking commissions, the App takes a flat rate membership fee of Sh2,000 a month from drivers, who typically earn from Sh40,000 and upwards, making for a fee equivalent to 5 per cent.
Riders get discounts of up to 50 per cent by sharing rides,
“My motivation was to create a platform where costs can be drastically reduced for customers and increased for drivers, in a combination that was smart, and also improved on our carbon footprint. At the end of the day, every shared ride will make a better environment for our kids,” said Mwakio.
The app allows customers to share a ride and split the fare with a maximum of three other customers headed in the same direction. Riders can decide whether they want to taxi-share or not.
If you choose to share, the in-App features gives the first customer the privilege to select who to share the ride with after a quick view of the customer’s profile during the shared ride request.
In order to guarantee near zero security issues for both riders and customers, ShareCab has put in place a very stringent vetting program that ensures they have the right type of drivers operating on the platform. “We collect the drivers’ copies of Certificate of Good Conduct, KRA certificate, national ID and passport size photographs. We have also partnered with an agency that assists us with the drivers’ background checks,” added Mwakio.
For riders, the app allows them to vet other ride-share customers, so that if a rider sees a profile they find worrying, they can deny the share request and it’s queued to a different rider.
With an international dream in tow, ShareCab is initially being launched in Nairobi, and across Kenya over the next six months. Within a year, the app will expand to international markets, including South Africa, Nigeria, San Francisco, Dubai and Toronto.